Samples of Prose, Poetry & Other Writing

When I was very young, my teacher led a book writing project in class. My Scary Dream, a true American novel, was a sixteen-page ode to escaping a fearsome monster. Fear not- the tale ends with the heroine awaking, safe in bed, and being offered pancakes. The little book was entered into a regional contest and, several months later, brought to life by Child’s Play, a traveling troupe of actors that brought children their own stories. Watching my own words come to life in front of my peers, teachers, and beaming mother started a still-burning love of the written word. I never wrote another play- I remember vividly one of the actors’ hands was sticky when I shook it, and so I swore off the theater forever.

Sticky actors aside, I’ve written a few things since.

◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊

 

Server Rants: A Collection

I waited tables for a few years. Much like my paycheck, it had its ups and downs. Sure, I can now tell one hell of a story about deep-fried cicadas and I’ve perfected my ability to time a hangover just right, but I’d prefer to stay out of the industry as a whole in the future if possible.

My go-round in the biz didn’t end so well- check out the details here

The following are three honest server confessions. I hate you. I really do. I’ve seen every possible version of you from every possible dimension and alternate universe, and you are disgusting and simple and oh so predictable. Read these and you’ll either hate me, or maybe you’ll scoff at ‘those people.’ You are those people.

  • Your Gluten Allergy Is Fake And I Hate You – a love letter to the tote-purse-wielding defenders of the daytime talk shows with their tired lip liner and failing marriages. All my love to you, my darling sweets.
  • You’re Too Stupid to Eat Here – I worked at a sushi restaurant once. Sushi is a food containing rice, nori, and raw fish. This concept, among others, was beyond the mental capacity of a surprising percentage of people.
  • You Are A Bad Customer – Everyone on earth gets paid more for doing more work, except for tipped workers. When you’re working for tips, any Joe Schmo can walk in and define your job description, and you’ve got to dance for their dollar. Waiting tables is maybe two steps above prostitution.

◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊

To see my real resume, scroll to the bottom!

For Hire- a humor essay.

The downside of freelance work the is the day job. Especially when they’re hard to find. After a particularly hard day of walking from rejection to rejection in the winter cold, I wrote this piece as a form of catharsis.

This was written two weeks before I secured a job waiting tables at an Applebee’s in an unpleasant part of Saint Louis, Missouri. I trained on Christmas Eve and the pharmacy next door was robbed the next day.

◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊

Full Nest Syndrome

Full Nest Syndrome- a poem.

I grew up second to last of five children, with several non-biological siblings taken in by my parents through the years. There’s a point where a group of children becomes more of a herd than a family, and we teetered on that edge.

The four of us (pictured) were very close in age. My younger sister was born around the time this photo was taken. My parents were very religious, and here we are in our Sunday best. I’m the blonde in the dirty tights. Don’t worry, we all turned out with much prettier faces than this.

 ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊

Restore the Fourth Saint Louis

Restore the Fourth- a work of political activism.

In early summer of 2013, it was leaked that the idea of the government spying on its citizens was no longer a tinfoil hat conspiracy- it was the truth.

A grassroots movement known as Restore the Fourth was organized via Reddit.com, and chapters supporting the cause popped up in every major city, and several small ones.

I volunteered as the chapter’s leader. I organized a rally, and led a social media campaign through Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to garner support. Flyers were designed, made, printed, and put on display. I operated as the chapter’s representative, writing and sending press releases, doing interviews, and coordinating with national leaders.

Saint Louis supporters gathered on July 4th in downtown Saint Louis to bring attention to the breach of the 4th Amendment. Throughout the day, over 300 people gathered to hand out literature, speak to passersby, and wave signs. After 8 hours in direct sunlight in temperatures approaching 100, we were all sunburnt but happy. The battle for privacy is ongoing, but Restore the Fourth was a strong opening play from the citizens.

◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊

High School

High School- a humor essay.

I was an average student, if a little mischievous. I only got into one fight- and it was a good one.

All of the movies and television painted a scene of high school that was totally foreign to me. Attending a small school, there were few students that didn’t easily flit between social circles. I thought for a long time that the idea of a catty battleground of sex and drugs was completely non-existent- until I met a girl named Shannon.

The high school battleground is non-existent. She never seemed to notice- and held us all hostage in her game of make-believe.

◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊

The Rainmaker's Garden, Makanda IL

Makanda’s Garden- a work of prose.

I was born and raised in Southern Illinois. White the top three quarters of Illinois alternate between flat and boring, the bottom is full of all the wrinkles that the glaciers ironed out of the north. Sandstone cliffs and valleys make up Giant City, a large and beautiful national park.

I spent a large portion of my childhood in Makanda, a small town in the park. Between my first snakebite and my first date, Makanda holds my memories and my heart.

◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊

STLGame Jam 2013

Saint Louis Game Jam 2013- a live blogging and social media piece.

In April of 2013, I was enlisted by Simutronics, a gaming company that holds ‘Game Jams’ throughout the year. A Game Jam is a 48 hour marathon event during which games are thought up, designed, programmed, and completed. Game Jams happen all over the world.

At this Game Jam, I was hired as the live blogger. I set up and ran a Twitter account, posted to the website every few hours, took photos and videos, held interviews, and completed an in-depth look at each game. There was a lot of fun and very little sleep.

◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊     ◊